8 February 2021

A small number of patients and a small group of staff working in clinical areas have tested positive for Covid-19 at Mountbatten’s Hospice in Southampton.

The staff who have tested positive are now self-isolating with their close contacts as per government guidance and patients have been isolated.

"Everyone will understand that the people we care for are some of the most vulnerable and it is vital that we do all we can to protect them,” said Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive for Mountbatten.  

"As you would expect, we are working closely with Public Health England (PHE).  PHE use the term ‘outbreak’ when two or more people are known to have tested positive within the same organisation. We know that many care environments have been subject to COVID ‘outbreaks’ over the past year. This is the first time we have needed to respond to cases within the hospice in this way.  Following the advice of PHE, the Inpatient Unit remains open to admissions at this time and the situation is under control.

“All patients and their families have been kept fully informed of the situation and all staff have been kept up to date.  When people are dying, it is vital that they and their families can have the opportunity to take time to say their goodbyes; it is an important part of the work we do. In order to still make this possible, a strict visiting process to patients within the hospice has been in place over the last months. Each patient nominates only two visitors who are important to them. These two visitors can visit the patient in a managed and a COVID-secure way during their stay with us. All visiting processes have been discussed thoroughly with our staff and are in line with government guidelines. Regular weekly testing of staff has also been in place for some months and all patients are tested both on admission to, and during their stay at, the hospice.

“All of our staff have been encouraged to have the vaccination. The vaccination has become available for our staff at our Hampshire hospice over the last few weeks, and we have put processes in place for all staff to book themselves in for the vaccine as soon as possible. To date around three quarters of our clinical staff have had their first vaccination. We are keeping clear records when staff are both tested for COVID-19 and when they are vaccinated.”

Enhanced infection control measures for COVID-19 have been in place since last March and all government guidelines have been followed and communicated clearly and regularly with our staff, volunteers and those who use our services.

Nigel continued “All of our staff continue to work tirelessly during these difficult times to ensure that those who come to us for support are looked after effectively and that our workplace and patient care environments are as COVID-secure as they can be during this global pandemic. It is always difficult to know how and where this infection is passed on and I thank our staff and volunteers for their impressive diligence, both at work and within their personal lives, during this very challenging time.”

Measures which have been in place during all lockdown phases include, non-clinical staff working from home or if needing to work on the hospice site, strict guidelines for efficacy and safety always being closely adhered to. Compulsory face masks are worn on all Mountbatten sites, strict hand washing regimes, social distancing across the Hospice site, and use of medical PPE in use when working clinically.

For more information on the arrangements at Mountbatten Hampshire please visit our COVID-19 information pages.